spiritual narcissist are a tough job, in general.
It’s even more difficult to spot them, as their spiritual mask makes it seem impossible for them to be narcissistic.
The ego, which they are trying to overcome (the ego), is what controls them and leads to a sense of entitlement towards others.
Is it all over for someone who has succumbed to their ego?
Do we need to avoid spiritual narcissists and banish them from their spiritual retreats at all cost?
We’ll be covering not only the signs that indicate a spiritual narcissist but also how to deal with them spiritually and whether or not the ego can overcome.
Let’s begin with the basics.
What does it mean to be a spiritual narcissist
You’re likely to have come across several of these people before you can name them: spiritual narcissists.
This is simply where an individual uses their spirituality unconsciously to increase their ego.
They are very annoying because they have a way to flaunt their spirituality and look down on others who are less spiritually advanced than they are.
They will harass you with their opinions and ignore anything that challenges their logic or research.
If you have ever been in a relationship with a spiritual narcissist they will use technical jargon to make it seem like you are at fault. All this while trying to help you “find your spirituality”.
Hence, why is it so?
All forms of narcissism have an overinflated sense of self. These are the characteristics that narcissists are well-known for:
A strong sense of entitlement
Inapathy for others
Superiority over others
To manipulate others to get what they want
It’s when the person starts to identify as a spiritual person that it becomes spiritual narcissism.
They are shaped by their spirituality, which is why they can easily spiral.
How does it happen?
It’s the spiritual ego that causes it, which we’ll cover next.
Spiritual ego and spiritual narcissism
Spiritual materialism is the birthplace of the spiritual ego.
Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche first coined the term. It describes the process by which the ego latches on to spiritual progress and accomplishments that cause one to feel uplifted.
Take, for example:
Someone who brags about how they meditate or do yoga to achieve a higher connection with God is likely suffering from spiritual egoism.
Or someone who believes that their method of spirituality is superior to others and refuses to accept other ways of attaining a higher spiritual level.
Problem is that once you think you have “perfected” Spirituality, you are already far away from reality and far from where you intended to go (before your ego got involved).
There is no end goal and there’s no certification at the end.
This is simply not possible. It’s an ongoing process that never ends.
The spiritual ego won’t let you realize this; it will blind you to your behavior and the distance you have traveled from your original path.
This video below gives you a firsthand account of being a spiritually narcissist and how easy it can be to fall into the trap of the ego. Justin Brown, Ideapod founder, talks us through his journey as well as the various levels of spiritual self-esteem.
A spiritual narcissist can be born once the spiritual ego takes control.
The truth is that the spiritual ego can occur in anyone, regardless of where they are on their journey.
It is quite normal, especially when you are just starting your spiritual awakening. Everything is exciting and your brain is buzzing with new spiritual concepts.
It feels good, let’s be real.
It’s thrilling, it feels right. The ego wants to be part of the action and pushes you further into narcissism.
However, knowing the signs of spiritual ego or spiritual narcissism is a great way to recognize it and help you move on.
Without further delay, let’s see the signs and then we’ll discuss spiritually dealing with narcissists.
16 signs that a spiritual narcissist is on the horizon
1) They bring down your spirits, not lift you up
It doesn’t matter if it is a friend or a mentor in your life, you can tell if they are spiritual narcissists by the way they make you feel.
Are they using their spirituality to support and lift you? Or do they use it as an excuse to make you feel less spiritual and inferior than them?
Despite all their bravado, they should be so spiritually connected that they can encourage you in your own spiritual journey. They should be your best support person, since they claim to have it all.
Narcissists of all types need to bring you down in order to feel better.
They don’t seem to realize it but their self-esteem is low. The only way to fix it is to make others doubt their abilities and confidence.
2) They refuse to take responsibility
If they refuse to be held responsible for their actions, it is another sign that you are dealing with a spiritually narcissist.
They can always find an excuse for hurting someone else or take responsibility.
They’ll fight to correct their mistake if they are corrected in conversation.
They are, in other words, super defensive.
Spiritual narcissists are happy to take responsibility when it puts them in the spotlight.
They’ll not admit to the wrongdoing if they did it.
They don’t want to admit it to their spiritual egos.
3) What would a gifted advisor say to you?
These signs will help you determine if someone is spiritually narcissistic.
It can still be very beneficial to talk to someone intuitive and receive guidance.
They can answer your questions about relationships and help you to get rid of all your worries.
Are they spiritual narcissists, or? How do you deal with them
After going through a difficult time in my relationship, I spoke with someone from PsychicSource. After getting lost in my thoughts for so many years, they provided me with a unique insight into my life and who I was meant be with.
They were so kind, compassionate, and knowledgeable that I was actually shocked.
This reading will reveal if someone is spiritually narcissist. It will also empower you to make the right choices when they are.
4) They are part of exclusive groups
How can spiritual narcissists make it through life if they only put others down and refuse to accept responsibility?
They must be called out by people, surely?
This is what we wish would happen in an ideal world. Spiritual narcissists, however, take steps to protect themselves.
These clubs and groups are often exclusive, cool, and include meditation groups or yoga retreats.
Once in this group, the spiritually narcissist surrounds themselves with like-minded individuals.
It is the narcissist’s way to keep their self-esteem high (there is no one to critique them) and reinforce the belief that the spiritual practices they are practicing are correct.
This is a problem because they aren’t exposed to the real world. It’s almost like they have their eyes closed and can only see their chosen path.
5.They use spirituality as a way to prove their points
However, if they come in contact with others who ask them questions, the spiritual narcissist can twist and adapt spiritual lessons to suit their argument.
It happens a lot in religion, for example, extremists who have interpreted and adapted holy scriptures to suit their politically-motivated cause.
It gets worse
Spiritual narcissists won’t keep their twisted views to them, but they will try to persuade others.
It can quickly feel like hard work to have a rational conversation.
6) Conversations always turn into debates
This is a reminder that if you have ever had to deal with a spiritual narcissist you will know how difficult it can be to have a fair, balanced conversation that doesn’t require a conclusion.
Narcissists must be right even when they are wrong.
It can be a casual conversation or a heated argument. They will assert their dominance and take over the conversation.
It is not enjoyable for anyone.
Instead of learning from one another and discussing spirituality, the spiritual narcissist will talk about their beliefs and latest spiritual crazes.
Even if they were genuinely interested or helpful, they don’t just talk about it. They want to convince others around them to believe in it.
It’s another way of appeasing the ego and needing validation. When the spiritual narcissist “is right”, the ego feels proud.
7) They attempt to convert others to their spirituality
This brings us to the next point: trying to convert people.
People who believe their religion or faith is superior to others will often go to great lengths to help other people find the right path (or what they consider to be the right path).
It has been happening since the beginning of time and is how most major world religions spread around the globe.
What does this have to do spirituality?
Spiritual narcissists will try to push their beliefs onto others.
They will not respect the fact that everyone has to find their own path in spirituality.
8) Their actions are not in line with their words
But even though they are so rigid and dogmatic about their beliefs, it would surprise you at how little they actually practice what they preach.
Spiritual narcissists are not afraid to criticize your beliefs and opinions, but they will never be in the wrong when it comes to their beliefs.
Take, for example:
A spiritual narcissist friend tells you how people should be lifted up and supported in their spiritual journey.
You notice, however, that narcissists are quick to judge and make people feel guilty for not doing more.
You’ll see a lot of contradictions in what a spiritual Narcissist says or does.
9) They act as if they are superior
Keep an eye out for a sense of superiority, which is another tell-tale sign of a narcissist.
They believe they have a spiritual ego that is unsurpassed and are above all others, no matter how far they are on their spiritual journey.
Even though they don’t know anything about you, a Narcissist will assume they are better than you and more spiritually mature.
So, where did this superiority come?
The ego is prone to exaggerating and overstating the truth. This leads to the narcissist believing that they are unique and different from everyone else.
10) They are overly positive
You may be asking, “How are they so positive if other people feel inferior?”
Valid question: The narcissist cares about their own life and not about the lives of others.
The truth is that:
Although they may not have much to be positive about, they will do whatever it takes to make the world seem perfect.
Some people truly appreciate what they have, while others will pretend that their lives are extraordinary.
You won’t hear a spiritual narcissist speak about the negatives, from the salad they ate at lunch to their new retreat.
This is dangerous as they don’t see the world in a healthy way. The negatives are always there, whether they’re recognized or not.
However, by suppressing these emotions the ego can believe that everything is under control.
11) They brag about their spirituality constantly
A classic sign of spiritual narcissism includes the inability to stop boasting about how spiritually-aware they are and how much they have perfected their spiritual practice.
They forget that bragging is against the essence of being spiritual.
It only makes people feel bad, and it only lifts the ego. Most people want to get past it instead of feeding them.
12) They have no interest in the world around themselves
Despite all their talk about spirituality, connecting with a higher level and helping others, narcissists often lack genuine curiosity about the world.
They know the answers in their minds, they have firm beliefs and don’t need to interact with others or dig into their deepest thoughts.
They are spiritually superior to everyone else.
They don’t realize that even the most mundane and boring of routines can be full of valuable knowledge.
It’s more often than not these experiences that connect people to their spirituality, and not books or scriptures.
13) Spirituality is not about practice but theory
This is not the problem.
Spiritual narcissists are more likely to intellectualize spirituality.
Instead of reading everything about it and putting it to use physically, they will spend most of their time searching for deeper meanings, confirming their beliefs, or analyzing their thoughts.
They don’t go out in the world to use their spirituality to heal or connect with others.
Their heads are ensconced in scriptures, and reading is only a part of the learning process.
It all comes down to living a real life, connecting with others, and exploring the globe – these are the things that stick and force you to grow spiritually.
14) They act as if they are the saviors of humanity
Spiritual narcissists often feel it is their responsibility to save the planet.
They want to be a spiritual leader, guru or spiritual leader. Some people even believe they are a savior for others.
This makes perfect sense.
Narcissists are attracted to attention and love control. They want loud, bold accomplishments that will further increase their self-esteem.
It’s easy to be a guru on Instagram with half a billion followers.
The ego is satisfied but the narcissist also has the ability to fulfill their desire for influence over others and to shape their spirituality.
15) They are better at speaking than listening
Narcissism is also often overlooked. They are unable to concentrate and listen when conversations aren’t going the way they want.
If the narcissist joins in on the conversation, it is because they are trying to get their point across and not connect with or discuss other ideas.
They are quick to share their ideas, defend against being challenged, and don’t like others taking the spotlight.
There are exceptions.
Spiritual narcissists will only listen to people they respect, people they consider higher in their spirituality than others or who are experts in the field.
16) They aren’t open about their true selves
The essence of spirituality is finding meaning or purpose in life and connecting with others on a higher level. This is the final point.
A spiritual narcissist, however, will do the exact opposite.
They won’t face fears or deal with insecurity, nor will they work hard to heal them (although they’ll be preaching to others about it).
Instead, they will hide the “negative” aspects of their lives and show only what they want others to see.
The truth is that:
They are unable to have real experiences or step into the unknown. However, they don’t want others to know this.
It does not serve their image, or their ego.
These are the signs of spiritual narcissism.
It’s hard to believe, but it is possible to recognize spiritual narcissists by knowing the signs.
It is not easy to deal with narcissists – it takes patience and the willpower and ability to see beyond their arrogances and self-absorbed tendencies.
How to spiritually deal avec a narcissist
You’ve now identified a spiritual narcissist within your life. What can you do?
The majority of advice recommends that you avoid narcissists. Numerous advice forums will inform you that they won’t change and that you need to act fast.
What if there were another way?
Spiritually, I am referring to dealing with narcissists.
You don’t have to cut off a spiritual narcissist from your life. Instead, be kinder and accept them as they are.
Although they may appear pompous and conceited, narcissists are actually going through an internal struggle, just like us.
Their battle is only one in which their ego takes over and they are unable to see how others have been hurt by their actions and behavior.
You can deal with narcissists by having some understanding, being open-minded, and having patience.
They may not realize their narcissistic tendencies because of the risk of them being cut out entirely.
Is it possible for a spiritual narcissist to overcome their ego?
You might be thinking, I don’t blame, that it is possible for a spiritually narcissist, to change.
Many would argue that a narcissist has little chance of realizing their habits and taking action to change them.